(12-23-2012 02:45 PM)Ugly Wrote: Bah! Bumhug! The only sunlight here is a bottle of DISH SOAP!
If you haven't already done so, get your vitamin D levels checked. Low vitamin D is responsible for a lot of ailments, including depression, and doctors in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand now consider vitamin D deficiency epidemic, especially in areas closer to the poles.
Your body produces 7-dehydrocholesterol in the lower levels of the skin. When UVB rays from the sun hit the 7-dehydrocholesterol they activate it, supplying your body with vitamin D. The problem is that UVB gets screened by atmosphere, and in the extreme northern and southern parts of the planet the rays come in at such an angle that we don't get very much UVB. (Which is why people from northern Europe evolved lighter skin).
However, for some of us the mechanism doesn't work well, even with plenty of sunshine. Late summer two years ago I appeared at my doctor's office where they drew blood for a vitamin D test. At the time I was wearing my usual summer attire, open sandals, t-shirt and shorts. I was tanned all over, even my feet, because I hike ten kilometers every day, weather permitting.
When the test results came back I was 30.5 ng/mL, where the normal range is 30 to 80 ng/mL. (Outside the US the measurement is in nmol/L, but I don't know the conversion factor or the normal ranges.) Needless to say, I was amazed that I was so low considering my sun exposure. All I can conclude is that I am either not producing or not utilizing it effectively.
Subsequently I started taking 5000 iu vitamin D3 per day (best taken in the morning). After several months I had my vitamin D tested again. Theoretically 100 iu/day should bring you up 1 ng/mL, but the 5000 iu a day brought me up only to 52 ng/mL.
For another example, a woman student in one of my classes at the local university is from Saudia Arabia. Not only is she now living in an area with less UVB than her body evolved for, for religious reasons she covers all of her body at all times, except her face, and even most of that as well. She told me that her doctor has her on 50,000 iu a day.